Cuevas del Almanzora

CUEVAS DE ALMANZORA

Cuevas de Almanzora owes its name to its caves (cuevas) and the Almanzora river that runs through it, and offers visitors a rich variety of things to do, including an excursion to the cave houses of Calguerín. Among over 200 excavated caves in the rocky cliff face, some have been set up as rural lodgings providing accommodation, and one as a museum. Cuevas de Almanzora has around 13,700 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The rocky setting of Cuevas de Almanzora has inspired settlement by numerous industrious cultures throughout history, and has housed a Phoenician mining village, the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Byzantines, before inland agriculture developed in the Al-Andalus period. Its caves were the work of a Syrian population hiding from Christian attack, and like everywhere in Andalusia, it witnessed the power struggle between the Catholic Monarchs and Moors. By the eighteenth century, a stable population developed around agricultural activity. More>

THINGS TO SEE

Castillo del Marqués de los Vélez
The castle was built on the site of a former Roman Tower, which was expanded to form a fortress by order of Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón. It is a large walled enclosure composed of an interior cobbled patio, amphitheater, tower, palace and casa de la tercia. The Torre del Homenaje tower dates from the fifteenth or sixteenth century and measures 16x19m, divided into five floors connected by a spiral staircase. During the eighteenth century, it served as a prison, during which time the fantasies of the prisoners were captured on its walls. The fifteenth-century palace is surrounded by four cylindrical bastions. The interior is formed of numerous rooms that overlook a central patio, which is currently the headquarters of the Museum of Contemporary Art AMC. The Casa de la Tercia was built in the eighteenth century as a barn where the local population paid tithes to the Marquis, but now houses the municipal library, archaeological museum and exhibition hall. Annexed to this building is the Tercia II, a glass room that holds numerous jars half-buried in the ground, as well as a permanent exhibition of engravings by Goya (Sala Goya) . It is included in the National Castles and Palaces Network of Spain and is located on the Plaza de la Libertad.

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-13:30hrs and 16:00-18:30hrs
Sunday, 10:00-13:30hrs
15th July - 15th September, 09:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 45 80 63

Iglesia de la Encarnación
Declared an Historic Artistic Monument, this church is the second largest religious building in the province. It was built in the sixteenth century, and its current state is the result of numerous restorations, since in 1851 the demolition of the left-hand tower was advised because of its poor condition. In 1931, the tower on the right was rebuilt, thus balancing the façade. It houses ten chapels, one of which was donated by the Sociedad Minera Carmen y Consortes (mining society) in 1854 and is located on Plaza de la Encarnación.

Lavadero
The public laundry complex has been a meeting point for the women of the town for decades. Originally, each washing area was occupied throughout the week by locals who had paid for them in advance. The water used in the laundry was auctioned daily, at 12 o’clock in the morning, for agricultural use. The complex is on Calle el Vergel.

Palacete de Don Torcuato Soler Bolea
The nineteenth-century palace is composed of three floors. The interior is made up of numerous grand rooms, most of them painted in tempera and decorated with plaster motifs and canvases of great artistic value by Andrea Giuliani Cosci. Sitting on Plaza Constitución, it is currently the Town Hall.

Convento de San Francisco
The convent’s construction began in 1651 and was funded by the patronage of Don Fernando Fajardo and his mother Doña Mariana de Toledo, Marquis de los Vélez. It was remodeled in the nineteenth century and in 1837, the friars were expelled. The building became a secondary education centre in 1842. After decades of disuse, its value has been acknowledged with various phases of restoration. Since 2013, it has housed the Municipal School of Music, Dance and Theater, the Musical Group and recently the Municipal Historical Archive. Located on Calle Convento.

Cueva Museo Etnográfico
This museum represents the caveman’s way of life until the middle of the twentieth century, and contains examples of all the significant tools used when the caves were inhabited. Located on Cuesta del Calvario.

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-13:30hrs and 16:00-18:30hrs
Sunday, 10:00-12:00hrs
15th July - 15th September, 09:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 61 84 24

Museo de Arte AMC
Antonio Manuel Campoy was born on November 16, 1924 in Cuevas del Almanzora. A graduate in Philosophy and Arts and a Broadcasting Technician, he closely followed contemporary artistic movements and became a great art collector. An author of innumerable catalogs, articles and other art publications, he regularly published his art critiques in the ABC newspaper. The AMC museum, named after Campoy, consists of several collections, with works by Picasso, Solana, Miró, Pedro Bueno, Tapies, Revello de Toro, Vela Zanetti, Cristóbal Toral, Matías Quetglas, César Enrique, Barceló, Benjamín Palencia, Álvaro Delgado, Lapayese, Clave and Redondela.

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-13:30hrs and 16:00-18:30hrs
Sunday, 10:00-13:30hrs
15th July - 15th September, 09:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 45 80 63

Museo “Poeta Álvarez de Sotomayor”
This museum opened on December 15, 2007, with most of the works dating back to the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The museum is made up of four permanent exhibition halls in which the work environment of the poet is recreated, with furniture from his own office, dining room, bedroom and library. The personal library of Sotomayor, comprising more than 200 literary works, is also exhibited alongside a series of images, engravings and pictures of the poet. The highlights are probably his original manuscript works, his diary and his will. His fascination with the Arab world is the theme for one part of the museum, which exhibits a replica of the flag he designed and numerous mosaics that embellished the local cave houses. The museum is located in Casa Figueras, on Calle la Rambla.

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-13:30hrs and 16:00-18:30hrs
Sunday, 10:00-13:30hrs
15th July - 15th September, 09:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 45 75 32

Museo Arqueológico
The Municipal Museum is dedicated to one of the most important sites of Fuente Álamo, telling the story of the territory and town, and the lives and deaths of the inhabitants who occupied these lands for more than 600 years. Located on Plaza de la Libertad.

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-13:30hrs and 16:00-18:30hrs
Sunday, 10:00-13:30hrs
15th July - 15th September, 09:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 45 80 63

Sala Goya
The Goya Hall is the only museum in Andalusia that houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes’s engravings. It opened on June 11, 2007, fulfilling the wish of Antonio Manuel Campoy, with the partnership that bears his name and the Town Hall. There are two folders of engravings, proverbs and bullfighting images.

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-13:30hrs and 16:00-18:30hrs
Sunday, 10:00-13:30hrs
15th July - 15th September, 09:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 45 80 63

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE

Cuevas del Calguerín
The Calguerín Caves is a collection of more than 260 caves that have been used throughout history for housing and shelter, some of which are still inhabited. The area is known among locals as Terrera de Calguerín. Over time, erosion has transformed the caves to their current varied states, however, they remain a unique sight and a continued source of inspiration for poets and travelers. They can be found north of the town.

Lago Artificial
Located in the reservoir of the town, this is one of the most innovative and relevant infrastructures of all those built for the Mediterranean Games in 2005. The facility, with a total area of 132,000m², housed the rowing and canoeing competitions in the Games, and includes a boat hangar, judges’ tower and fitness room. Visitors can practice dragon boat racing, water skiing and other sports. It also has a water park.

SPORTS

The chance to go scuba diving in the caves is a big attraction for sports enthusiasts, especially at beaches including Cala Cristal or the Embarcadero Viejo. The area also has Europe’s first ever desert golf course at Desert Springs Golf Club and hosts the European Supercross Championships, for motorcycle enthusiasts, during the first few days of August. The 2005 Mediterranean Games of rowing and canoeing took place on the artificial lake here and there are many hiking routes along the coast and inland.

BEACHES

Those who devote themselves to sun and beach tourism will find open beaches such as Palomares, Villaricos, Calón or Pozo del Esparto and quieter coves between cliffs like Panizo, los Invencibles or los Dolores.

GASTRONOMY

Those interested in sourcing the gastronomy of the town should not leave without trying the ajo colorado (garlic soup). Other dishes worth trying include olla de trigo (black pudding and wheat stew), gurullos con conejo (chickpeas with rabbit) and pelota (meatball stew). Sweets include rosquillos de anís (aniseed biscuits), palitos de crema (custard flutes), cuernos de crema (custard filled pastries) and alfajores de almendra (almond pastries).

FESTIVALS

As well as the usual calendar of classic Spanish religious holidays like Holy Week and the Three Kings procession, Cuevas de Almanzora hosts a really extensive display of rural fiestas celebrating the crafts and lifestyle of the rural village, including Fiestas de Palomares (‘dovecote party’), Fiestas de las Herrerías (‘blacksmiths’ party’) and even the Fiesta del Martinete (‘pile driver party’) – almost every element of the village’s history is honoured in its own event. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Cuevas de Almanzora are Villaricos, Vera and Antas.

Booking.com